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Patagonia CEO: Business Leaders Must Do Better to Protect Our Planet

2 minute read
Gellert is the CEO of Patagonia

Society’s addiction to fossil fuels has caused a climate crisis that’s harming our health—particularly in frontline communities—causing an extinction crisis and creating frequent and deadly extreme weather events. The war in Ukraine is the most recent and horrific reminder of our over-reliance on oil and gas, and it underscores the urgent need for renewable energy independence.

Many companies have made promises to mitigate the climate crisis, but few are doing anything meaningful enough to meet the severity of the threat. This applies to their carbon footprints, supply chains, financial partners and business advocacy through groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable. We need to hold companies and our elected leaders accountable—and we need to work together.

Read More: Don’t Sell Your Fossil-Fuel Stock If You Want to Make a Climate-Change Difference in 2022

Systemic change is needed to protect our planet and support thriving communities. It is essential that business leaders address the root causes of the climate crisis to achieve that change and we have committed to doing so in a number of ways. One is by committing to eliminating virgin petroleum sources from our products by 2030 and investing in substantive removals and reductions in supply chain emissions, in alignment with science-based targets. It’s also important for companies to evaluate their financial partners and commit to those partners who are contributing most to the global energy transition.

Not all solutions will come from the corporate world. Companies should work with grassroots groups to support the communities most affected by the climate crisis. We can help to protect nature by supporting Indigenous and community led efforts to restore land and water to sequester carbon and provide resiliency for people and biodiversity.

Lastly, we must end corporate doublespeak: Your company’s political contributions and business affiliations should not sabotage the legislative work being done to tackle the climate crisis.

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